Skip to main content

Kara Maria Precious and Precarious

Painting featuring swirls and circles of various sizes in blues purples greys and red and detailed painting of a blue whale

Painting featuring swirls and circles of various sizes in blues purples greys and red and detailed painting of a blue whale

January 28 - June 10, 2022

(closed March 12-31)

With vibrant, evocative compositions, artist Kara Maria draws us in. The radiating, energetic pieces may at first glance appear as purely abstract or geometric fields. However, as we look more closely at the colorful elements colliding, swirling, and layering across the canvas or paper, we encounter meticulously detailed paintings of diverse animal species.

The species she renders are either endangered or extinct due to the actions of humans. While some pieces may feature animals that have experienced a resurgence since first being declared endangered, many artworks chronicle species who remain endangered or have gone extinct. In this growing body of work, Maria challenges us to face the realities of humankind's impact on other animal species whose native habitats range from present-day California to the Arctic.

Precious and Precarious: Life on the Edge of Extinction features a series of paintings and works on paper from 2013-2021 that are part of this ongoing examination of threatened animal life. 


Image above: Kara Maria, The Sea, the Sky, the You and I, (Blue Whale), 2021, acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of Anglim/Trimble. Photo by John Wilson White.

Dec 14, 2021

Images courtesy of Anglim/Trimble. Photos by John Wilson White.

Gallery Hours

Please review our current schedule and COVID protocols before visitng the museum.

Related Programs

Artist Talk
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 @ 4 p.m.

Kara Maria offered an artist talk about her practice and the artworks in the exhibition Precious and Precarious

View the recording


Responding to our Climate Reality: Processing Facts & Making Meaning
Monday, April 18, 2022 @ 4-5:30 p.m.
Hybrid: In person at the de Saisset Museum & on Zoom

Artist Kara Maria will participate in this panel discussion as part of tUrn 6. This panel is co-presented by the de Saisset Museum and tUrn Climate Crisis Awareness and Action.

More details and registration for participating via Zoom and in person are available on the tUrn website

Exhibition Reception

Friday, April 1, 2022

6-7 p.m. - Members' Reception
7-8:30 p.m. - Public Reception

Please review our safety protocols before attending.

Related Installation:

Santa Clara University undergraduate students enrolled in several courses from the Department of Art and Art History are creating individual and collaborative artworks inspired by Kara Maria’s exhibition over the course of two academic quarters. In February and March 2022, you can see their installation taking shape in an adjacent gallery, and their full installation will be on view starting April 1, 2022. More details to come.